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Auchengeich
Mining Disaster

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It was midnight and a cool autumn wind rustled through the silent crowd of 1200 people gathered at the pit-head, many of them women with their children wrapped in shawls cuddled close to them.It was the night of 18th September, 1959, and the coal mine was at Auchengeich, Lanarkshire, where an inferno raged deep below.

Ronald Parker, Scottish Chairman of the National Coal Board, stepped forward and addressed the crowd, telling them that it had been decided to flood the mine to put out the fire even although 48 men were still missing.

Cries of despair and anger rent the air and under the glare of floodlights the Scottish Miners union leader Abe Moffat appealed to the crowd to go home.

Three men shouted, �Why do you tell us this now? They should never have been down there. It was the fan, the fan . . . . �

They were moved on by police.

It was believed that a faulty booster fan-belt operating electrical equipment 1400 feet underground had burst into flames and had spread fire along a gallery. Around 7am. on that fateful day - on which occurred Scotland's worst mining disaster of the 20th century - the early morning shift had just clocked on and were being carried in a small train of bogies towards the coalface.

The sole survivor of that brief train trip was 50-year-old Big Tam Green, a 6 ft. 4� giant from Marnoch Drive, Glenboig, who later told how he and his mates ran into thick, black, choking smoke.

In Memory Of those Who Died
Age
Alexander Morrison Beattie
Roadman
26
mas Bone
Beltmen
27
Francis Broadley
Developer
38
William Brynes >
Coal Cutterman
54
 Mathew McIwain Cannon
Coal Face Stripper
38
Walter Clark
Back Brusher
61
Henry Clayton
Train Guard
62
Robert Conn (Rab)
Back Brusher
30
Andrew Crombie
Oncost Worker
42
James Devine
Shotfirer
39
Docherty, Andrew
Coal Cutterman
43
John Duffy
Shotfirer
39
Francis Jones Fisher
Shotfirer
49
Martin Fleming
Stripper
51
Michael Fleming
Shotfirer
47
Richard Hamilton
Stripper
48
James Harvey
Stripper
44
Patrick Harvey
Developer
33
Edward Henery
Stripper
61
George Jackson
Spare Stripper
21
Peter Kelly
Stripper
40
Francis Kiernan
Beltmen
26
William Lafferty
Stripper
39
Alexander Todd Lang
Stripper
35
William Leishman
Oncost Worker
65
Gerald John Martin
Shotfirer
34
John McAuley
Back Brusher
42
Robert McCoid
Stripper
55
Joseph McDonald
Stripper
53
Denis McElhaney
Developer
49
George Thomas Thompson McEwan
Oncost Worker
20
George Wilkie McIntosh
Shotfirer
58
Andrew McKenna
Deputy
41
P. McKenna
55
James McPhee
Shotfirer
54
Peter McMillan
Shotfirer
55
William Meechan
Oncost Worker
22
John Muir
Oncost Worker
38
John Mulholland Senior
Stripper
50
James Nimmo
Oncost Worker
50
Aaron Price
Stone Worker
50
Robert Price
Stone Worker
47
Alexander Sharp
Stripper
34
John Shevlin
Oncost Worker
46
William Skilling
Oncost Worker
53
John Mack Stark
Stripper
23
Thomas Stokes
Oncost Worker
32
Donald Cameron Weir
Roadsman
30

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